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America 28, Hagel 23, Us 17, United States 13, Chuck Hagel 12, Washington 9, Unquote 6, Israel 6, Graham 5, Westwood 5, Russia 4, Mr. Durbin 4, Blumenthal 4, Mccain 4, U.s. 4, Ronald Reagan 4, Ramone 3, Nunn 3, Nelson 3, Clinton 3,
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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    February 13, 2013
    9:00 - 12:00pm EST  

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.. the next generation, he received a letter from 25 senators. it included every republican member of this armed service committee. it also included a minority leader and the minority with.
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of that letter stated this committee should not vote, and the full senate should not vote on his confirmation. unless and until he discloses his personal financial compensation over the last five years. i will confess, mr. chairman, i was surprised by his response. i fully expected him to provide some attempt at adequate disclosure in response to that request, in that very clear statement and the absence of the disclosure it was the judgment of a large number of senators in this body that his confirmation should not come to a vote. his letter came back, and it again flatly refused to comply. it gave no reason other than that he is not legally obligated to turn it over and, therefore, he will not. i will point out that right now this committee knows absolutely
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nothing about the personal compensation chuck hagel received in 2008, 2009 or 2010. we do not know, for example, if he receives compensation for giving paid speeches at extreme for radical groups. given the two letters he received, it is a fair inference to assume that he and those handling his nomination assembled that information, assembled his compensation, and the only reasonable inference i think is when they a symbol that there was something in there that they did not want to make public. it may be that he spoke at radical or extreme groups are anti-israel groups and accepted financial compensation. we don't know. it may be that he received extraordinary payments from defense contractors, which i would suggest as a matter of conflict of interest. this committee and the senate would be interested in. we don't know what it was because he simply said no.
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i will not tell you the compensatcompensat ion i personally have received. and i will point out on this question, i agree with senator harry reid. when it came to the nomination of john bold, and in a of members of this body asked for additional disclosures from john bolton, and those disclosures were not forthcoming. harry reid said the following, the administration stonewalling has no one had the effect of slowing down the confirmation process, it has also put a further cloud over this individual and perhaps unnecessarily, raised the impression that the nominee and the white house have something to hide. i don't know if mr. hagel has received funds directly or indirectly from foreign sources, from extreme sources, but his refusal to provide disclosure i think is highly troubling. and i would suggest every member of this committee and every
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member of this body should stand together and at least insisting on adequate disclosure. i'll make one final point. some have asked, would you make the same request of a republican nominee? i'll point out you can chuck hagel is a republican. i don't know him personally, unlike many members of this committee. isa limit was record, and i can tell you this, whether this nominee were nominated by democrats or republican president, i would be very interested to know and i think the american people would be very interested to know whether a nominee for secretary of defense has received substantial funds directly or indirectly from foreign nations, foreign lobbyists, foreign corporations or foreign individuals. and i would certain ask that of either party. in fact, i suspect had mr. hagel been nominated by a republican president, there might be considerable more agreement on this. so i would ask each of us just
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to give serious thought to our constitutional responsibility to advise consent, and i would urge this committee and the senate as a whole not to march ahead with such speed that there is not sufficient time to accept -- except the family. just yesterday we discovered speeches did not disclose, and it is a quite mild threshold to ask what compensation has he personally received and deposited in his personal bank account in the last five years. i would suggest that would be a relevant concern for everyone. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator cruz. as i've mentioned before, my answer to the letter on this subject is now part of the record. first point that you raised, i said the following with regard to -- disclose all compensation over $5000. he has received over the past
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five years. instead financial disclosure form in which the committee requires all nominees to provide calls to provide, calls for the disclosure from which the nominee has received compensation in excess of $5000. and during the previous two years. now, you may want to change the committee's questions, standard questions. we can take it up at any appropriate time, but it's not going to be a separate role for senator hagel than it is for all the other nominees. a two-year disclosure requirement has been consistently applied by the committee is established in section 102 of the ethics in government act. it applies only to all nominees for senate confirmed positions, but also to all candidates in federal elected office. my comment about your request for foreign funding are also part of the record. they will be on, way beyond what ever any but has requested that
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i think it's not feasible in many of the request that you may, to answer them. but the question that he did ask in part d of the form we ask all nominees to fill out is the following. during the past 10 years have you or your spouse received any compensation from or involving any financial or business transaction with a foreign government or an entity controlled by foreign government? the answer is no. you have every right to make a request beyond these requests that are required by all rules, but i do think that we ought to deny a vote to a nominee because he wants, or he is decided not tnotto respond to a request whih not only goes beyond our rule but in some cases go way beyond our rules. finally, if you wish to modify the form that we ask nominees to fill out, that's well and good. we're not going to do that retroactively. we're not going to single out one nominee for that. we either do for all nominees,
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in which case you can raise this at a committee meeting, process. you are more than welcome to do that but we are not going to single out one nominee for this kind of disparate treatment. >> may i give a brief response? >> you may. >> i would point out that these requests are not out of the ordinary. and, in fact, to prior nominees have been as very similar questions. when george w. bush nominated henry kissinger to the 9/11 commission, this body asked what foreign compensation had his firm received. and, indeed, a number of prominent members of this body, including the majority leader, said they would oppose this confirmation unless and until he disclose any foreign conflicts of interest. now, mr. kissinger made the decision rather than disclose them to withdraw. which was a reasonable decision for him to me.
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that's one precedent. a second president was the nomination of hillary clinton for secretary of state. in that instance, russians were likewise raised about potential foreign funds. and secretary clinton did something quite admiral. she voluntarily disclosed every foreign donation in the clinton foundation even though the committee rules didn't require, because there was a reasonable question that would be raised if foreign funds have gone to that foundation. i would suggest those two paths are both reasonable passed today. not one, if reasonable questions are raised about financial topics of interest in a sense of measures he could position, of the receipt of foreign funds, one position is to say i won't make that disclosure and i will withdraw from a nomination. and i will point out henry kissinger was for an advisory board, not to be the chief civilian officer of the foreign -- or the second round is to provide disclosure in have to make clear there is not a form
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conflict of interest. senator hagel's response is truly unprecedented. i am not aware of any president would questions have been asked is a form conflict of interest with the nominee has said i refuse to answer your question, nonetheless i will not withdraw. i expect to be confirmed anyway. i would suggest that sets a dangerous precedent, and, indeed, if subsequent investigations reveal substantial financial conflicts of interest, and this ascent has pursued with unnecessary haste and without giving due time to advise and consent on that nomination i would suggest that each of us who did so would bear some significant part of responsibility for that decision. >> the precedent which would be such a would be by your unilaterally changing these rules that we have followed, if this number or any other nominee wishes to respond to your request which goes beyond the rules, they are free to do so.
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we are not going to accept a change in the rules that apply to one nominee. if you wish to change these rules, you may do so at a procedural meeting of this committee, but we are not going to accept your suggestion and into window that there's some kind of a conflict of interest here, because there is no evidence of the conflict of interest. he has been asked this flat-out question by a committee, have you or your spouse ever represented in any capacity, e.g., that is employed, attorney, business or political advisor, consultant, with or without competitioandwithout con government or an entity controlled by a foreign government. is answer is no. if you have any evidence to the contrary, that's one thing. without any evidence to the contrary, to say that you haven't gotten answers to questions which go beyond the question that we ask every other nominee is not going to be accepted by this chairman. >> mr. chairman, you asked for evidence to contradict i would point to the letter mr. haeckel
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submitted. there were seven private funds that paid substantial funds of money. that 25 senators asked him about and he responded. and the question was of those private funds that paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, did they receive foreign funds? he responded that for six of those funds, he could make the representation that the substantial fees he was paid did not directly derived from foreign sources. but for the seventh of those funds, a fund which paid him $200,000 in the two years we know about, and for all we know substantially more in the years and which has not responded to the question, he said he cannot even make that representation. he could not even say that the $200,000 he received did not come directly from a foreign government. and the question is can we asked has been paid by foreign government i would suggest is every bit as relevant to know if the $200,000 that he disclosed came from a foreign government.
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may be purposely appropriate. we might conclude that it was benign, it was reasonable, but it is at a minimum relevant to know if the $200,000 that he deposited in his bank account came directly from saudi arabia, came directly from north korea. i have no evidence to suggest that it is or isn't, but his statement was that he could not even tell this committee that $200,000 did not come directly from a foreign government. i would suggest that it's evidence that at a minimum would suggest further inquiry justified. >> senator chris, you are free to vote against this nominee for any reason you choose, including that he has not responded to questions that you've asked me on the question that this committee asks. let's be clear as to what the question is this committee asked. during the last 10 years have you or your spouse received any compensation from, or that if of
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any financial or business transaction with a foreign government or an entity controlled by foreign government. his answer is no. you say you have any evidence yes or no to the contrary. if and when you come up with any evidence that he is not answered this question honestly, i'm sure that yo you'll provide that to e committee. for the purposes of proceeding with this nomination, we will now make your objection is clear in the record. come up with any evidence, you can supply that to us that he is not answered these questions honestly. we will now proceed and call on senator nelson. >> mr. chairman, senator cruz has stated his opinion, which he is entitled to, but i want to put on the record that this senator feels like that senator cruz has gone over the line.
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he basically has impugned the patriotism of the nominee, in your conclusions, which you are entitled to come to, about him in essence of being cozy with iran. and you've also stated your opinion that you don't think he has been truthful with this committee. now, that's, those are two fairly strong statements. and i couldn't help but having had the privilege of serving on this committee for a while and seeing the two former chairmen on either side of the nominee, and i looked at the former republican chairman, john warner's space, -- face, as some
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of the questions asked as he visibly winced. there's a certain degree of comity and civility that this committee has always been known for, and clearly in the sharpness of difference of opinion, the question in essence whether somebody is a fellow traveler with another country, i think is taking it too far. no, and i would encourage this committee to take the role model of its former chairman, senator mccain, who can get into it-heavy -- hot and heavy. but at the end of the day he's going to respect the other
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person's motives, and i would implore the committee to consider that. now, i would just respond on a former question that was asked about this global zero report. i would simply turn to the transcript of the committee hearing, page 79, senator sessions have asked questions and senator hagel's response line 10 on page 79, thank you, senator. that the first correct some of your interpretation what global zero report was and what it actually said. first, it did not propose or call for anything. it was, in fact, the words specifically use at the front end of that report was quote a loss to give, and, of course. proposing -- a luster to.
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but laying a difference in areas and possibilities and schedules. and here's the key part of all this. and by the way, this was summarized in a letter to president obama in '09. bilateral, never unilateral. nothing was ever suggested on a unilateral basis or taken down arsenal, negotiate, verifiable. these are the terms that was in the report. as senator nunn said in his opening statement, and i have alluded generally to this, mainstream thinking of most presidents we've had in the last 65 years, and i go back to ronald reagan, ronald reagan's comments as senator nunn quoted was reduction of nuclear weapons for the obvious reasons. that is why we have engaged in treaties to reduce nuclear weapons. those were not unilateral arrangements. those were bilateral
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arrangements. and i will continue in the transcript on page 121, line two, where senator ayotte asks, here is what's troubling. you have testified before this committee today that you have never been for unilateral nuclear disarmament. in other words, unilateral actions by the united states of america, yet this report itself which you call an illustration, it's illustration our recommendation or however you want to frame it, is to actually, there are many recommendations in it. one of them is to eliminate a leg of the triad which is the land-based icbm. would you agree with that? that is the illustration that is contained in this report, or you call it an illustration, is that right? senator hagel, i call it an illustration.
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senator, because that is the term that is used at the front end of the report. senator ayotte. well, let me talk about the other terms that this report uses, because this report twice as senator sessions has asked you, on page one and page 16 says, that the illustrations for this example given in this report, one of which is unlimited in a lake of the triad, nuclear triad, could be implemented unilaterally. so here's what i'm struggling with. why would you ever put your name on a report that is inherently inconsistent with what you're telling us today, is that you have never been for unilateral disarmament as a possibility, and senator hagel's response is
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-- on page 122, well, it's not inconsistent to i don't believe, send, that you use the term. that is a pretty important operative term in the report. the report does not recommend that we do these things. the report says could, illustrative scenarios, possibilities. and you probably know the other individuals who were involved in that report, mainly general cartwright, former commander of strategic command. so i wanted to insert those things in the record from previous here. >> thanthank you very much, sen. >> tragic if i may be heard on a point of personal privilege. >> i just want to make one observation that senator nelson, i think i wrote the word criticizing, or -- are senator therefore implying that chuck
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hagel was cozy with terrorist type countries, referring to iran. i would say endorsed. you can't get any cozier than that. >> mr. chairman, if -- >> i've been endorsed by people i disagree with total. i do want people to ruin my career by endorsing. >> if i may be heard on a point of personal privilege. the senator of florida level two charges directly and become and others suggest both of those charges are false. first thing the senator from florida said is i have indeed and chuck hagel's patriotism. to the contrary, i've repeatedly and explicitly praised his personal character and patriotism and service. my focus is entirely on his long-standing foreign policy record, and his opposition to sanctions to any form of direct action dealing with those who would cause harm.
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and so in no way, shape, or form have i impugned his pages is the i focus on his foreign policy record which even the "washington post" describes as the french. cycling the senator from florida suggested that i stated that mr. hagel has not been truthful. to the contrary, my point is exactly the opposite. that the question this committee asked whether he has director received money from foreign sources enables him to answer that truthfully, no, while at the same time not disclosing whether the hundreds of thousands of dollars he has received has come indirectly from foreign sources. his answers could be entirely truthful and yet the example i use of course, that money, that 200,000 could have come from a foreign nation, and he could answer that truthfully, no, i haven't received it but it came from an intermediary. and my point is not that he has lied. it is rather that he has refused
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to answer reasonable questions of disclosure. so i would suggest in no way, shape, or form have i intended to or have i in fact into his character. my focus is consistently been on his record which i think is a record that is troubling and would be dangerous to the national security. >> the record of the committee will have to speak for itself but let me now call upon senator wicker. yes, senator mccain. >> i want to make it clear. senator hagel is an honorable man. he has served his country, and no one on this committee at any time should into his character or his integrity. spent i think we would all agree with that. senator wicker. >> well, let me see if i can reel this back, mr. chairman. you know, this is not my idea of a good time.
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we have a republican nominated for secretary of defense by a democratic president to with every democrat on the committee supporting, every republican on the committee with justice heartfelt reasons to oppose the nominee. chuck hagel, chuck hagel's wife grew up in mississippi. kinfolk still there. presumably they wonder why i can't support their kinsman. mr. chairman, you say we need a secretary of defense, and we do. the action today by north korea in the streets that. what's going on in iran demonstrate that. but we need the right secretary of defense. and i have to say, sitting there this week with secretary panetta, a man who i served with come in and i am proud to have voted for, i was proud to vote
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for him at the beginning of his term as secretary of defense come in here at the end of the term, i'm just as proud. mr. chairman, i would be delighted and eager to vote for you for confirmation for secretary of defense. i would do that without hesitation. i would've voted for senator warner, senator nunn. clearly senator hagel brought the right people with him, but we need the right secretary of defense, and chuck hagel is not the right secretary of defense for this time. we need a secretary of defense who can stand before the world and articulate that we reject a policy of containment of a nuclear iran.
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we need a secretary of defense that can stand before the world and be clear in making the point that the iranian government is not a legitimately constituted government. when senator hagel made the misstatement about the legitimacy of the iranian government, senator gillibrand had to come back later, explained to him, walking back and help him correct that misstatement. we need a secretary of defense who doesn't need help in that regard, and clearly we need a secretary of defense who doesn't need to be passed a note saying we are not in favor of a containment policy. he got that wrong as, and the chairman had to take a third stab at and correct the nominee for secretary of defense on one of the major issues of the day.
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now, you could say that senator hagel had a bad day, and it was. it was a troubling performance for this hearing. the members of this committee acknowledge that and know that. but here is my larger objection. here, and chuck hagel, we have a senator who made a career out of taking a contrary view against bipartisan consensus positions that have been held across this table, across the aisle, at both ends of this building. there has been a bipartisan mainstream national security consensus in this congress on israel, on our policy with regard to iran, on our entire
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middle eastern policy, backing jimmy carter's camp david accords in 1978. and chuck hagel, without question, has made a career out of going in front of the panelists, getting invitation after invitation because it was good tv, and making it clear that he was outside that national bipartisan mainstream, on all of these crucial national issues. now suddenly he is the nominee, and we are to believe that he is squarely in the mainstream of americans thought in this regard. this is the individual who said the israeli government essentially continues to play games. is the individual who said he didn't believe in unilateral sanctions because they don't work, and a week later when it's
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necessary to say something different, the senator from california, he walks that back. he is the same senator who decried the systematic destruction of an american friend by the country of israel. and who said there is a jewish lobby in this country that gets its way through intimidation, and that results in this government doing dumb things. when asked by senator graham, when asked i need about the jewish lobby, he clearly reiterated that he should not have said the jewish lobby. he should have said the pro-israel lobby or the pro-israeli lobby. he told me know i should have said intimidate. i should've said influence. so there's an israel lobby that influences. but what about the dumb thing? well, he finally got to the point where he was just unable
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to tell senator graham anything other than he really just didn't have anything at all in mind. this is a man who has planted himself for eight years in the united states senate, clearly as senator graham, not in the left lane, not in the center lane, not in the right lane, but in the chuck hagel outside the mainstream lane, and let me just tell you, my friend, i think we know in our hearts we could do better. senator king is going to be a wonderful center. he said this is a job interview. while in that job interview it occurred to me that the prospective employer would say we can do better than this. we can do better, the president can do better. i can name several people in this room who could do better,
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and we need to do it for the people of the united states, and for the security of the united states. >> thank you, senator wicker. senator mccaskill. >> thank you, mr. chairman. president obama, when he became president, had campaigned a lot on foreign policy, the war in iraq. and what did he do when he became president? he turned to the secretary of defense, of president bush, and asked him if he would continue to serve as his secretary of defense. now, i remember when he did that, and i remember the cry that went up from many in the president's base. they were upset with the president because he had dared to ask secretary gates to stay on the president obama weathered that criticism because he wanted
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the advice and counsel of secretary gates. this is a president who was just reelected by the american people. as much a sign people in this room don't like it, he was elected president of the united states by the american people, and he has selected an honorable veteran, a republican, who has served our country in various capacities, including this body. he's got a resume that qualifies him. he has got a character that, until today, i assumed was not questioned on either side of the aisle. and references, embraced by an impressive bipartisan group of leaders in national defense, including the former chairman of this committee, and ranking republican of this committee who is revered by both sides of the
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aisle. not only did introduce him, he warmly embraced him and endorse him. now, we have had the same set of disclosure rules in this committee for 25 years. same set of rules. we have applied these rules across the aisle, didn't matter whether was a republican or a democrat. during this period of time we have confirmed secretary carlucci, cheney, aspen, perry, colin, rumsfeld, gates and panetta, as well as thousands of other nominees in senior civilian positions in the department of defense. we asked senator hagel the same questions that we ask all of those fine men, and he answered them. and there's a whole section on foreign affiliation, and he
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answered each one of these questions on foreign affiliation. now. no. neither side of the questions that cover the waterfront in terms of foreign affiliation. and i certainly respect my friends across the aisle, and i know where different opinions about this, and i know that there are legitimate policy differences here. but in this committee, it is my hope that if we have someone in front of this committee who, at a time when many of his generation were running from facing battles, were trying to figure out a way, i remember trying to figure out a way to get a deferment, trying to figure out a way to use their connections to avoid the battlefield, trying to get to canada. this is a man who stood up and said, let me go. and not only did he go, he
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served with courage on the battlefield. now, i don't see got to agree with them. i'm not saying you've got to vote for him, but it will say this. i think we've got to be careful with inferences that would leave the impression that this man would somehow purposefully evade or purposely mislead this committee -- purposefully. he has answered these questions clearly and completely. isn't everything that we've ever asked a nominee to do. so i think it's very troubling that we have gotten close to that line. and i got together, senator inhofe, the careful, because you might have an organization that would endorse you that you find abhorrent. and they would have the right to say, what i've the right to say you were cozy with him? what if some horrible or position divorced you with the best guy they knew? the idea that somebody is endorsed by someone else, that
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that somehow signed him up to agree with this country that he is acknowledged to this committee is a threat to our nation, that he has acknowledged that he will not be part of any policy of containment, that he knows we must stop them from getting nuclear weapons, and that they are state sponsored organization of terrorism. he answered that very clearly to my question. so i just think, am i said this is going to be a partyline vote? yeah, i am. senator graham said that this is an aberration. i sure hope so, because this, this nation deserves us trying to have it not be a partisan situation. so i hope this is an aberration, and i do respect everyone who cannot confirm this secretary,
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but i do think a great deal of deference should be given to the commander-in-chief on his selection, and i do think his resume, his references, and most importantly, his integrity qualify him for this job. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator mccaskill. let me add one quick thing. this entity has had to do with difficult issues before and there have been occasions when we've actually split on party line. we have survived those very, very strongly. we will survive this one and we will be just a strong coming out as we were going in. this is a bipartisan committee. we are proud of the tradition. that tradition is a lot stronger than any particular single vote or any particular single comment. so we will, i'm sure, i have no doubt about this committee future bipartisanship, as difficult as this vote is to senator inhofe spent i would just be very brief year. when you talk about the relationship between senator
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hagel and a country, and we're talking about the country, the country is iran, they are the ones who say that they want to wipe israel off the map, that israel is a cancerous tumor. they hate america from the bottom of the hard. and yet he appears with some of the people on al-jazeera where he agrees with the statement that israel has committed war crimes. it goes far beyond his being endorsed. let me be clear in the record, mr. chairman spent i think the transcript of that will be put in the record because it will be very, very different interests are impressions, the way it's just been described, let's proceed and we were go to senator sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i respect as you know your chairmanship so much, and we produced a defense bill unanimously last year.
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again, came out of the committee that does speak well i think for our bipartisanship. i would note that i in uncomfortable. i don't think it's necessary that we rushed this vote today. we jus just received certain speeches but i haven't seen it i haven't seen it and the video a parent of one in existence but not been produced. and there are other things that cause me to think we should be slower about this. with regard to the committee rules and judiciary committee, like this committee they are basic question is that good everyone, but that does not limit the inquiry. we that much broader inquiry about individuals when they have this problem for this question people ask. and so i think it's not unreasonable to ask for that a nominee disclose his income, and over a period of time. if i'm wrong about that i will change my view but i don't think
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that's an unreasonable burdensome question to ask of a nominee who wants to be secretary of defense. it's certainly been done to others, and just because we limited the two years doesn't mean on a given circumstance we couldn't have asked for more. that's where i would say that. colleagues, we are facing and going to be debating the nuclear posture of the united states a great deal. i understand the president they talk about some links tonight. it does not totally surprised me because i believe he comes out of the anti-nuclear left, and is one wise observer of all these processes over the years said to me recently, i'm not surprised that the anti-nuclear left would oppose the things that are in the global zero report. that's been out there for 30 or 40 years. what surprises me is that that position may be held by the
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secretary of defense of the united states of america. mogg's view is that this nominee has been somewhat erratic impositioimpositio ns over time. and i'm concerned about that. senator nelson and i watched as chairman of this subcommittee with a nuclear power nuclear weapons issues are debated, and we've been involved in it for some time. the global zero report that senator hagel was one of five others, one of four other people signed it and produced it, said some very troubling things. and it outlines a vision for nuclear weaponry in the united states that is contrary to our historical positions. just about three years ago, as legislation i proposed actually,
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american strategic posture, bipartisan report produced william j. perry who was openly known to favor reducing nuclear weapons, continue to reduce them. james slawson sure, he was -- chairman, vice chairman. other people like james woolsey, lee hamilton, john glenn were on this committee. we appointed him to see where we were and produce a bipartisan analysis on the best heads in the country about what we should do about our nuclear weapons. they did not say change the triad. they did not say take weapons of our lord. they did not sit eliminate all icbms. they did not say a limited all practical weapons. in fact, the contrary. so this is what, so now, apparently senator hagel
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participates in this global zero report. just last year, less than a year ago, this is what it said. and are amvet plan, -- illustrative plan, the nazis or the extenders reduces its arsenal for minor nuclear weapons and increases the warning and decision time over its smaller arsenal. morning time means you take them off over so it will take a lot longer to get them lost that way today. it goes on to say quote, these steps could be taken with russia in unison through reciprocal presidential directives, negotiated in another round of bilateral arms reduction talks, or implemented unilaterally. it goes on, this unusual statement quote, security is mainly a state of mind, not a physical condition, and mutual assured destruction no longer
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occupies a central psychological or political space in the u.s., russian relationship. i don't think that's true where russia is. further on, that was on page one of the report. then it says this about bilateral and nuclear arms negotiations on page 16. >> would you forgive the interruption? i think i'm able to set a time for a vote now if we can get some idea about how long you want to speak him and i'm not trying to limit you. can you give us an idea about how long? i just talked to senator blumenthal and i want to ask senator hirono the same question. >> i just want to share a few thoughts spent know, is five minutes enough? >> seven. >> that's no problem. senatosenator hirono, how long t you speak? senator blumenthal?
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i'm now going to schedule a vote for 5:00. you about at five. we will hopefully have just about everybody there. if not, if somebody's on their way we can stay here until everybody has an opportunity either to vote in person or vote by proxy. senator sessions, so 5:00 we will start the vote. senator sessions, forgive the interruption. >> let me ask one question, mr. chair. there are several members, maybe the majority of the members on this site have requested we don't carry this vote tonight, would like to have it delete. we recognize that you are the majority, and i will just make that request. >> thank you. and we have made a decision, we're going to have a procedure vote today so that the vote, we recognize the request, we've just got to stick to a plan which is a reasonable plan and we are going to start the vote at 5:00. and we will now go back to
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senator sessions. >> well, a growing concern on our site about moving this nomination so rapidly, and i believe it or further disclosures, so i don't know where we will end on that. but the report says this, quote, the reductions proposed under this illustrative plan could be carried out in unison with united states and russia, but reciprocal presidential election, another round of bilateral arms reduction talks, or implemented unilaterally. it also says quote a less good approach is still a good approach apparently, would be to adopt this agenda unilaterally. senator hagel was very anxious to tell us the report did not call for unilateral action on behalf of the united states. and it clear he suggests three unilateral, three times it suggests the possibility of unilateral actions.
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and i think it just was surprising to me how driven they were to reach this conclusion. in a footnote, a question was raised about observers, i've been one of them, who made the point that if we continue to draw down our weapons, and they get to a certain level, more and more nations can see themselves as competitors. and far from being discouraged and building of nuclear weapons they might see an opportunity to be an equal par with russia and the united states. i think that's a legitimate concern. they did dismissed that and say well, that global zero, with high level chinese government officials and military officials and experts indicate strongly that china remains committed to this course of a low nuclear policy. china would not raise through parity or supremacy, and would,
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in fact, take the opposite position to join in arms reduction process if the united states reduces their arsenals to low numbers. i mean, forgive me, but i do know who he talked to and i'm not sure they were telling the truth anyway. matter of fact i doubt, and this is the kind of thing that went into the report. general schwartz, air force chief of staff, about this report was asked about it, he was not sympathetic. general schwartz said quote i don't agree with this assessment for this study. the current stratcom commander, general taylor thomas strategic forces command who has new requirement for the united states government said quote, regarding the global zero report, in my view, we have the force size, force structure, force posture of the day that we need for our national security
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needs. what did the report call for in conclusion? they are not shy about -- united states go, could seek to achieve, this is in the conclusion, such reductions in 10 years and plan to base its arsenal on a dyad, no longer a triad, of nuclear delivery vehicles. the obstacle, optimal mix would consist of 10 triad missiles upgrade, there are currently 14, and 18 b-2 bombers. decommission as the overtly say, 67 b-52 nuclear bombers. they would be totally eliminate it come all the b-52's. continuing quote, under normal conditions one half of the warhead stockpile, 450, would be deployed on these areas. the other half would be kept in
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reserve except during national emergency. all land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear payloads would be retired. all icbms would be retired, and the carriers of nonstrategic warheads, all of which would be a limited and the carriers of nonstrategic, that's tactical nuclear weapons, would be eliminated from the stockpile. b-52 bombers would be completely eliminated or convert to carry only conventional weapons. well, i really think that's an extreme position. it's contrary to the established bipartisan commission that we established with concurrent bipartisan policy of the u.s. defense department. and i don't know how you'll vote on this nomination, but please, ladies and gentlemen, as we go forward, we are going to have to be very careful about how we handle strategic nuclear weapons. there is no doubt our allies are very uneasy. they don't understand where we
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are heading. they don't have the confidence that we need them to have, it is an ally doesn't think that we're going to be there for them, then will they not have a high-end hh instead to develop a nuclear arsenal themselves, defend themselves? that worries me. and the members of this committee that i've talked to and met privately said they received delegations from various countries i won't name that we respect and our great allies, are really troubled by this. i asked a russian professor on one occasion, would you eliminate your tactical nuclear weapons? he said, do you know how many troops the chinese have on our border? we are never going to eliminate tactical nuclear weapons. we've got to be careful about this dream of a world without nuclear weapons. will be encouraged iran?
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will encourage north korea if we reduce our weapons and stop producing nuclear weapons? if we continue to go down and people lack confidence in us, what about countries like saudi arabia or egypt or turkey or other countries around the world, south korea, japan? we do not feel further pressured -- would they not go further pressured to build a nuclear arsenal and, therefore, proliferation would occur? mr. chairman, i think this is out of the mainstream, and represents a rather erratic position, and having been involved in virtually the entire time i've been in the senate, i think it's so far away from where we need to be that i would not be able to support my friend, chuck hagel. i like him. he is absolutely deserves our respect for being on the ground come in combat, putting his life on the line, serving his country, and he's a frank and
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open person, but he's not in particularly consistent in my view over the years. he's taken some views that i think are not good for america. and i believe in secretary of defense, entire world, and all americans really, need to know that is one person that is stable, solid, can be counted on, measured judgments and execute them as promised. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator sessions. senator blumenthal. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i will be very brief in the interest of time, just to say that i will be supporting senator hagel. i want to thank particularly senator mccain for his comments about senator hagel, that none of us are seeking to into his character. and, in fact, many of the senators who questioned him, and he is a good and decent man and that respect his record as a
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decorated combat veteran. he would be the first enlisted man to serve as secretary of defense, and, therefore, i think uniquely qualified to address what i view as probably one of the two or three major challenges to the next leader of the precedent which is how to attract and retain the best in america, the best people in america to serve in our military. we all are fond of saying people are our greatest asset. and it's true. anyone who is visit our war fighters in afghanistan, as i have three times, and privileged to go with senators mccain and graham and send i got a couple of times stand in awe i think of the work that they've done and the sacrifices they have made. and this country traditionally, after such wars, hollowed out its military. i'm convinced that senator hagel is committed passionately committed to the men and women in uniform, and our veterans.
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he's been a veterans advocate as well as a decorated combat veteran himself. so i believe there's a reason that we afford the president some prerogative, which is only the president we held accountable for his policies. his policies, did ministrations policies will have to be senator hagel's policies if he is confirmed as secretary of defense, and we should hold the president accountable and hope to work with my colleagues on issues like iran and israeli security, and as well working to stop sexual assault, repealing, implementing the repeal "don't ask, don't tell," these dangers and realities of suicide, pst, and, of course, the looming danger of sequestration. the management of the department of defense is a huge challenge and i hope that we will come together on a bipartisan basis to help whoever the next second a defense is, and i believe --
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thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator blumenthal. senator hirono. >> thank you, mr. chairman. there are goodhearted right by the people on both sides of the nomination question, and i don't think there are any mind to be changed at this point. i would like to offer a few points about this nominee for the record. first, it is important to our national security to have leadership in the department of defense right now. the defense department is never an easy place to run, but today it faces an unusually difficult set of challenges. we need a secretary of defense in place to manage the fallout from sequester, should it come to fruition, as was the budget constraints we face in the future. we need a secretary in place to guide the fundamental rebalancing of our military after the end of the war in iraq, and the winding up of the war in afghanistan continues,
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and as we pivot to the pacific. and this rebalancing must be done while being vigilant about the circumstances in north korea, syria, north africa and elsewhere, as well as the large and ever increasing cybersecurity threats to our data systems, and other infrastructure. at the same time we as a country must have a larger discussion about the next generation of warfare. how, when, and under what circumstances will digital weapons be used? that are ongoing questions regarding the use of drones. what worrell will congress have and overseeing the use of these weapons? we need a secretary of defense in place to participate in these discussions. third, we also need a secretary of defense who will look after the needs of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and their families. we need a secretary of defense who has fought for veterans issues and can work with with
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the da to ensure that these two agencies will work in coordination for the benefit of our veterans. senator hagel has tremendous leadership in both the public and private sectors. i think that we owe tremendous deference to the president who put together the team that he can count on. and i'm confident that senator hagel will provide the president unvarnished advice, and that he will ask tough questions it is always ask a monotonous as are the popular question. so senator hagel in my view is very qualified to be secretary of defense, and i will be supporting his nomination. >> thank you, senator hirono. senator udall speak we will leave the hearing at this point. you can see it in its entirety on our website. the committee did go on to approve the nomination of chuck hagel for defense secretary, a partyline vote.
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all 14 democrats supported the nomination, republicans oppose. republican david vitter was not in the room at the time of the vote. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. architect of the universe, before the mountains were formed and the hills were born and the earth received its frame, you are god! you fill the universe with the mysteries of your power, and
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we're in awe of your handiwork. inspire our senators to unite with you in the great cause of bringing healing to our nation and world. may they sense your presence continually, think of you consistently, and trust you constantly, receiving your divine guidance for the path ahead. lord, inspire them to think imaginatively about how to do your will on earth, even as it is done in heaven. we pray in your great name. amen.
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the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, february 13, 2013. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable heidi heitkamp, a senator from the state of north dakota, to perform the duties of the chai. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: leader reid. mr. reid: following leader remarks, the senate will be in a period of morning business. the republicans will control the first 30 minutes, the majority the final 30 minutes -- or, i should say the second 30
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minutes. we're going to twork get an agreement on the consideration of the nomination of senator hagel. we them to have a vote on the kayatta nomination to be a judge for the first circuit. madam president, last night the president of the united states outlined an agenda to strengthen middle class and expand our economic progress. he outlined and agenda that will restore the core values that make it nation great. fairness -- you senate democrats stand ready to work with republicans to make this vision a reality. president obama's agenda calls for commonsense investments in our future. investment will breed new life into our struggling middle class. investments will make america a magnet for jobs and manufacturing once more, investments that have been deferred for far too long
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because of the worst recession since the great depression. the president's plan will give american manufacturers support they need to thrive while ending giveaways to companies who ship jobs overseas. his plan will create jobs today, building world-class roadways, railways that our economy can rely on come. the plan will prepare current and future workers to compete in a future america while making our schools the best once again and colleges affordable for every graduate. his plan will break our addiction to foreign oil and encourage renewable energy. as he said last night, it will be done without adding any money to the deficit, not a single penny -- as he said, "a dime." these investments in a strong middle class are not just right for the country; they're right for our economy swvment but our efforts to restore prosperity will mean little unless congress
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acts immediately to deal with arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect next month. if the looming sequester strikes, 70,000 young children would be kicked off head start, 10,000 teacher jobs will be at risk and the small business administration will be forced to reduce loans to small business loans by up to $540 million. democrats believe we should use a balanced approach that targets wasteful spending and tax loopholes and ask the wealthiest among us to contribute a little more to reduce the deficit. the american people know we can't cut our way to prosperity. they agree. we can't ask the middle class to bear the burden of the entire deficit reduction. later this week democrats will introduce a plan to avert the so-called sequester. republicans say they agree the deep cut cuts voted for would be
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damaging to our economy and national security. but republicans would rather cut medicare, education, and medical research than to close a single wasteful tax loophole or ask a single millionaire to contribute a little more. the republicans should stop protecting millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations and start working with us to pass an alternative to these terrible cuts that we want to do something to start changing this so we protect the middle class. we must not jeopardize the progress of the last four years. even though our work to restore economic prosperity must continue, we should take pride in the 35 months of private-sector job growth -- 6.1 million new american jobs. imagine how many more jobs we could have created with just a little cooperation from our republican colleagues. but now our friends across the aisle have another opportunity to engage constructively. they have a second chance to
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work with democrats to rebuild the middle class by investing in things that in the past have made america strong: world-class roads, bridges, dams, industrial factories that are the best in the world, and creating entrepreneurs. president ronald reagan in his first address to the joint session of congress spoke of these building blocks of prosperity. this is what he said. quote -- "the substance and prosperity of our nation is built by wages, brought home from the factories and mills and farms and shops. they're the services provided in 10,000 corners of america. the interest of the thrift in our people and the returns for the risk taking. the production of america is the suppose of those who build -- is the possession of those who build. he didn't say the prosperity of america is the possession of
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investment banks or wealthy oil companies. but, rather, he said our substance and prosperity are earned in factories and mills and farms and shops and the the rewards belong to all those who build, serve, create, and produce. noit's time to return to those roots. it's time to remember that fairness is not just a princip principle, but a powerful engine of growth and prosperity for all of america.
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the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i'd like to say a word about last night's state of the union. to me at least the occasion cried out for bold and courageous leadership from a reelected president who has run his last campaign. it called for a president who was willing to stare down america's challenges, reject the easy choices, and step outside his political confident zone to unite a deeply divided public behind a common goal. sadly, history will record no such moment. an opportunity to bring together the country instead became another retread of lip service and liberal itch. -- liberalism. for a democratic president entering his second term, it was simply unequal to the moment. following four years of this president's unwillingness to
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challenge liberal dogma, we got more of the same. the president spoke about energy infrastructure but didn't even mention the keystone pipeline. he chose the nation's biggest stage to promote something that's inefficient and costly, like solar panels, instead of something that's proven and reliable and domestically produced, like coal. he advocated tax reform but mostly has a way to increase the size of government, not as a way to increase our competitiveness. he spoke of workers' minimum wages instead of their maximum potential. in short, with the exception of his impressive delivery and trademark style, last night's speech was pedestrian, liberal boilerplate that any democratic lawmaker could have given at any
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time in recent memory. gun control, cap and trade, tax increases, and spending programs are exactly what we've come to expect from a liberal president who seems perfectly content to preside over a divided country and a stagnant economy. of course everyone recognizes the president is a really good campaigner. we all acknowledge his skill in that area. he'll be doing more of that today down in north carolina. but a state of the union address should be about something bigger. instead of dividing americans, it should unied them. instead of enflaming passions, it should show what's possible when the two parties actually work together. now, i'm glad he mentioned things like expanding trade opportunities with asia and europe. that's an area where we can cooperate, and i look forward to working with colleagues from both parties do just that.
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but overall i'm disappointed. i'm especially disappointed he chose not to seriously address the transcendent issue of our time, which is finding a way to control our spiraling debt before it controls us. because if we don't do that we won't be able to leave our children the kind of country our parents left us. and that's a goal all of us should share. take the obama sequester as just one example. the president had a chance last night to offer a thoughtful alternative to his sequester, one that could reduce spending in a smarter way. that's what republicans have been calling for all along, and it's the kind of thing the house has already voted to do, not once but twice. we want to work with him to actually make that happen, but instead we just got gimmicks and
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tax hikes, just one more plan from the president that's designed to fail so he can blame others when it does fail. it's really too bad for the country, it really is. look, the american people in their collective judgment decided to send a divided government to washington. i'm sure the president wishes that weren't so, but it's the reality. and americans look to him to use forums like the state of the union to bring people together and get things done with the government we have, not the one the president wishes he had. that's what ronald reagan did, and he accomplished great things. president clinton was able to get quite a bit done with divided government, too. so why is it that this president can't seem to demonstrate the same kind of leadership? he says he wants balance --
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balance, but his approach so far has been anything but. just as investment has become a washington code word for more spending, balance has now become a code word for "my way or the highway." remember, the president already got the additional revenue he wanted in january. he didn't agree to a single cut in spending then. just revenue. so obviously the thing to do now it would be look at cuts. but last night the president didn't propose any real cuts. he just demanded more and more taxes. and with a $16 trillion debt, he actually called for more spending too. though he didn't say how he would pay for it or even how much it would cost. pretend for a moment the republicans agreed to go along with all those taxes and all that spending.
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what do you think he'd demand the next time and the time after that? of course, more taxes and more spending. we all know that washington uses tax increases to fund even more spending on things like row -- robo squirrels and solyndra. not to reduce the deficit. that's what history shows us. it's how we got into this mess in the first place. we're not going to play the washington game. the stakes for american families are too high to keep taking the easy way out with more taxes and more wasteful spending. republicans believe taking on this massive burden of debt should be more important in this town than winning the next election. that's why we need sequence reforms like a balanced budget amendment, all republicans support it and democrats should too. we won't get anywhere as a
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nation if the president refuses to lead. we just can't. the question is: will he lead? will he lead? or will he continue this endless, endless campaign snowe now i want to end on a positive note. i want to point out there were areas of agreement last night and i particularly appreciated the president's reference to burma. and senator rubio did a great job with the republican address. i hope the president will actually listen to some of the things senator rubio said, and i hope he'll come back to congress with some different ideas. we can get important things done in his second term. and if he's ready to come to the center, to the political center, we will. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate shall be in a period of morning business with senators
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permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the republicans controlling the first 30 minutes and the majority controlling the second 30 minutes. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. a senator: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johanns: madam president, i rise today to discuss changes needed at the e.p.a., the environmental protection agency, to rebuild public trust and transparency. the reviews of this agency are almost unanimous from my constituents in nebraska. quite frankly, my constituents are frustrated and sometimes are just plain angry. and while the details and the specific issues will vary from one industry to another, the theme seems to always be the same. nebraskans think that e.p.a. doesn't understand domestic businesses, nor do they understand job creation.
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from specific industries to their employees to their customers, they think the agency is not transparent, arrogant, and oftentimes unresponsive. i hear this from ag producers. i hear it from the construction industry. i hear it from electricity providers. i hear it from city managers and mayors. and, you know what else? these folks don't speak with an "r" or a "d" beside their name, but, rather, an "a" for american. and their message is very loud, clear, and unmistakable. e.p.a. is overreaching, overbearing, and overstepping boundaries that have long existed. and the question is alway requee same -- they ask, senator, what can you do? what can do you to change how they act?
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nebraskans frustration is driven by both what e.p.a. is trying to do -- meaning the content of the rules and standards -- as well as how the agency is making its decisions. so today, madam president, i will be introducing several proposals to address these two areas. my first proposal addresses how e.p.a. conducts business, by increasing transparency in policy decisions. i'm introducing a bill that brings agency guidance documents under the coverage of the congressional review act. as currently written, the c.r.a. covers only substantial agency rules. meanwhile, e.p.a. has made use of what they call "guidance documents" to simply circumvent the accountability that comes
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with the rule-making process while still making major policy changes. using guidance documents also shshields the 308s policy changm being reversed by congress under the congressional review act. perhaps, though, the most obvious example was the use of a guidance document to expand the regulatory reach of e.p.a. and the corps of engineers over bodies of water not currently covered. they did this by expand being the definition of "waters of the united states" under the clean water act. the changes are extremely controversial. so the agency has chosen a path that intentionally minimized oversight and legal responsibility. in other words, they did an end
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run around us. they did an end run around the american people and congress. so my bill closes this loophole by ensuring that guidance documents are covered by the congressional review act, just like similar regulations would be. senators barrasso, grassley, paul, coats, fisher have agreed to cosponsor this commonsense change, and i want to say thank you to them for this critical support. the idea behind this is really simple and straightforward. major policy changes pursued through the use of guidance documents need to come here. they need to have our scrutiny, the scrutiny of the public, and the congressional oversight rules need to apply, and it's that straightforward.
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my second proposal, likewise, promotes transparency by addressing how the agency responds to our states. it says simply this: "if a state is developing its plan to implement a rule or a standard established by the e.p.a. under the clean air act, any reasonable request that a state makes to the agency for technical support, data, or modeling must be honored." now, here's why this is important. state governments are equal partners in much of the work that the e.p.a. does. that's the law. in fact, the law specifically recognizes the prominent role that states have. section 101 of the clean air act, for example, notes that -- quote -- "air pollution control at its source is the premayor
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responsibility -- primary responsibility of states and local governments." unquote. the law further declares that its purpose is in part, quote, "to provide technical and financial assistance to state and local governments in connection with the development and execution of their air pollution prevention and control programs." unquote. also section 101 of the federal water pollution control act declares, quote, "it is the policy of congress to recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of states to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollutio pollution." well, unfortunately, the e.p.a. is not honorin honoring that la, although it is abundantly clear,
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and instead treating state agencies as second-class citizens. for evidence of this, we need look no further than the text of a recent court opinion. in a case last year involving the clean air act, the d.c. circuit court of appeals ultimately struck down an e.p.a. rule known as "the cross-state air pollution rule," or the transport rule. and here's what the court said. quote -- "the federal government sets air quality standards for pollutants. the states have the primary responsibility for determining how to meet those standards in regulating sources within their border." unquote. well, the trouble, according to the opinion, is that e.p.a. just ignored the law. that's truly what the court ruled. e.p.a. snubbed their nose at us,
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congress, and, therefore, the law. it did not give states the time needed to develop a plan to meet the standard. instead, e.p.a. tried to force-feed states the implementation plan that e.p.a. developed. now, i could say with some certainty that my home state of nebraska is much better off when allowed to develop a plan tailored to our state rather than to accept a one-size-fits-all, my way or the high way overreaching federal plan. the court explained it this way: "the clean air act affords states the initial opportunity to implement reductions required by e.p.a. under the good neighbor provision. but here, where e.p.a. quantified states' good neighbor
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obligations, it did not allow the states the initial opportunity to implement the required reductions with respect to sources within their borders." unquote. the court's conclusion, in turn, was absolutely and abundantly clear. "o"e.p.a.'s transport rule violates federal law. therefore, the rule must be vacated." unquote. that's the holding of the court. so my bill targets the relationship between e.p.a. and the states and takes steps to restore the equal footing that has been eroded over the past several years by the e.p.a. my bill says, very simply, if a state has a question about the data or the modeling driving a standard, the e.p.a. cannot shut them out or slowwalk their
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request. they have to -- or slow-walk their request. they have to be respoo responsi. so, no more hiding the ball, as the saying goes. just simple transparency and the true partner working relationship. the third good government bill i'm introducing addresses broad frustration with what i would call the e.p.a. bombshells. by that i mean the agency's failure to obey current law directing them to publish regulatory agendas. this is remarkable. it's remarkable that e.p.a. continues to struggle with telling the public what rules are coming, but they do. you know, i always enjoyed birthday parties as a child, all of the surprises. but e.p.a. regulations are no party for people, and they shouldn't come as a surprise. well, it turns out that several
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executive orders and existing statutes instruct e.p.a. to tell the public what exactly is on the regulatory agenda. section 602 of the regulatory flexibility act, for example, requires agencies to publish -- quote -- "during the months of october and april of each year, a regulatory flexibility agenda which shall contain a brief description of the subject area of any rule which the agency expects to propose." unquote. also, executive order 12866 requires the e.p.a. to update its regulatory agenda twice a year. these updates are supposed to be published in a document known as "the unified agenda." seems clear to me. unfortunately, not clear to e.p.a.
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e.p.a. has ignored these requirements. it failed to publish an agenda in the spring of 2012, published nothing in october, and then waited until december 2012 to publish anything at all. that's not acceptable. the administration simply played "hide the ball" until after the election. so my bill instructs the e.p.a. office of inspector general, known as e.p.a.'s o.i.g., to assess whether o e.p.a. obeys te law and publish its regulatory agenda according to deadline. the o.i.g. is tasked with reviewing what e.p.a. does and reporting on problems, abuses, and deficiencies. my legislation simply directs the o.i.g. to include in its reports a tally of whether e.p.a. has met its legal requirements to publish planned
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regulations. my point here is that e.p.a. just simply needs to meet its legal requirements. it needs to be transparent, which just means simply to be honest with the american people about new regulations it is planning. my fourth and final e.p.a. bill puts some teeth behind my request that the agency deal with the american people in an honest way. it shouldn't be needed, but it is. and it just simply says that we will reduce e.p.a.'s budget if the agency fails to meet its legal deadlines for regulatory agenda setting. if a deadline passes and the agency has not published its agenda, then the office of the administrator loses $20,000 per week until the deadline is met. if this approach sounds familiar, that's because this
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bill is modeled after a provision in the highway bill that passed with substantial bipartisan margins in both the senate and the house last year. section 1306 of the highway bill authorizes the rescission of $20,000 per week from agencies that fail to complete documents required by transportation projects. the rationale is straightforward and accepted by congress. if an agency does not complete its work, according to reasonable schedules, then the budget gets decreased. madam president, i've outlined four commonsense solutions designinged to respond to -- designed to respond to reasonable concerns of real people and to respond to their heartfelt frustration with this agency. but, above all, they promote transparency and they promote
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responsible government. i would urge my colleagues to assist and cosponsor these proposals that bring transparency and a dose of reality to an out-of-control federal agency. madam president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. cornyn: madam president, -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum. mr. cornyn: i beg your pardon. i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be reunderstand ised. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, after listening to president obama's state of the union speech last night, i was left scratching my head. essentially the president wants us to pretend that the last four years never happened. he wants us to pretend that his economic policies have delivered a strong recovery from the recession of 2008.
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he wants us to pretend that his administration has made real progress on reducing the national debt. and he wants us to pretend that more taxes, more spending, and more debt are the key to middle-class prosperity. in other words, the president is hoping that we all have a case of amnesia. he wants us to forget about $5.8 trillion in new debt racked up during his first term, $5.8 trillion. he wants us to forget that our gross national debt is mao now larger than our entire economy, i100% of our gross domestic product. the debt is projected to grow even further by 2023. and i wants us to forget that his health care bill will increase taxes by $1 trillion over the next ten years.
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and he wants us to forget that america's credit rating has been downgraded for the first time in our history. he also wants us to forget that we've been suffering through the weakest economic recovery since the great depression. as well as the highest, longest period of high unemployment since the great depression. he wants us to forget that nearly one of -- excuse me. four out of every ten americans has been jobless for at least six months. he wants us to forget that average family median income has fallen by nearly $2,500 since the official end of the recession. and he wants us to forget that the cost of health insurance for the average american family has increased by more than $2,300. and he wants us to forget that as part of the fiscal cliff negotiation, the payroll tax
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went back up, taking an additional bite out of the check of middle-class workers. president obama last night said that we should ask ourselves three questions every day, those of us with the privilege of serving here in the nation's capital and the united states congress and in the administration. he said, number one, how do we attract more jobs to our shores? number two, how do we equip people with the skills they need in order to get those jobs? and, three, how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living? now, i may have my differences with president obama on a number of policies, but i actually think those are really good questions. if the president is truly serious about finding the answers to those questions, this may not surprise you, but he need look only to the model reflected in my home state of
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texas. madam president, i would ask unanimous consent to make part of the record an article entitled "the texas growth machine." into my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: well, the fact is, madam president, our state relies on a simple economic model that the federal government could emulate if it would like to have similar positive results. lower taxes, limited government, and sensible regulations and progrowth energy policies. i know the occupant of the chair comes from a state that i believe is the second-largest producer of oil and gas in the country, second only to texas. but -- and i know that the presiding officer has seen the economic engine that is created when we unleash our potential when it comes to our energy resources. but these are policies that
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recently helped texas turn a $5 billion deficit during the recession into an $8.8 billion surplus. they are the policies that made our state a robust engine of job creation that is attracting americans from all across the country. the total number of jobs in texas since 1995 has grown at the rate of 32%. you compare that with the rate of growth of jobs in america nationwide, it's 12%. 32% to 12%. that's not an accident. texas is also leader in the creation of high-paying jobs. between 2002 and 2012, our state accounted to close to one-third of all u.s. private-sector job growth in industries that paid more than 150% of the average wage, even though we have only 8% of america's total
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population. i know the president last night talked about how do we get middle-class wages up. his prescription was an increase in the minimum wage. but i say why don't we look at ways to achieve a maximum wage, by creating private-sector high-paying good jobs like we've been successful at doing in texas and like a few other states have done as well. after four years of $1 trillion deficits and historically high unemployment, right now our unemployment rate is roughly 7.9%, but that doesn't really count for all of the people who have since given up looking for work. and it's estimated that more than 20 million americans either are out of work or they're working part time when they'd like to work full time, but they can't find those kinds of jobs. i believe it's time for the president and this congress to try a new approach, and the great thing about our system of
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government, of shared sovereignty between the states and the nation, the national government is that we have essentially laboratories of democracy all around our country, where we can try different things to see what works and what does not work. and i would only hope that the president and congress would look at those places around the country where the policies actually work in creating jobs and economic growth. it's time, i believe, for the president to embrace policies that will encourage private entrepreneurship, private-sector job creation, income growth and greater domestic energy production. in short, it's time for him to embrace the texas model. with that, madam president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: assistant majority leader. mr. durbin: i ask consent the call of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, madam president. and consent to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president, last night the president's state of the union address is an annual event where each president comes forward, talks about the agenda, the plans, what we hope to achieve in washington during the course of the next year. there are many elements in the president's statement last night. there was one that i was struck by. he talked about establishing a college score card. he talked about the challenges that families are facing across america paying for college education. it has become an enormous
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expense. it is the fastest-growing debt in america. $1 trillion in student loan debt. and sadly, many students are getting in too deeply. they are getting too far in debt and they may not be able to get a job to pay it back. many students are defaulting on those debts because the -- the loans, rather, because they don't have an income. and sometimes their parents help them go to college and sign the papers. sometimes the efforts to collect the money go beyond the defaulting student to the parents. in fact, sometimes too grandparents. there was a case reported of a grandmother wanted to help her granddaughter, so she signed on to the student loan application. the granddaughter didn't get a job; perhaps didn't finish school. but there came a time when in collecting the student loan, they actually garnished the
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social security check of the grandmother. that's the most extreme case that i've heard. when it comes to indebtedness and student loan default, there are different categories of debt. some students are lucky and don't have to borrow a penny. but most do. and those who borrow money, we find, borrow the lowest average amount from public universities, community colleges and public schools. next will come private universities. and then a special category: the for-profit colleges. this is an incredible industry that most americans are not aware of. you should remember when you think of for-profit schools, three things, three numbers. 12% of the students coming out of high school go to for-profit schools. the biggest ones, the most well-known schools, the university of phoenix, devry
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university, kaplan university. there are a number of names which when you hear them, you'll say i've heard a lot about those. they advertise a lot. 12% of the students coming out of high school go to those for-profit schools. however, those for-profit schools receive 25% of all the federal aid to education. 12% of the students, 25% of the federal aid. why? because they're expensive. for-profit schools are very expensive, and the tuition is high. and so a student, to be able to go there, may qualify for a pell grant, which is an actual grant of money for students from low-income families, and then for loans beyond that. and it turns out that 25% of all the federal aid to education goes to for-profit colleges that have 12% of the students. but that's not the most important number to remember. not 12, not 25, but the final number. 47% of all the student loan
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defaults come out of for-profit schools, which means that students who start at those schools either don't finish and then can't pay back their loans, or finish and can't find a job to pay back their loans. 47% of the student loan defaults. the stories are heartbreaking. imagine 19, 20, 21 years old, papers are being shoved across a desk at the financial office at a for-profit school, and a student is basically told, well, you can start school next week. all you have to do is sign up for these loans. what's a student to think? i've been told my whole life to go to college. mom and dad are counting on me to go to college. this is a way i'll get a good job. i'll sign up. i want to start. what the student doesn't know is whether or not that school is worth the money. how could they know? i think back to those days when i started college. i hate to go back that far in time, but i didn't know whether
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borrowing $1,000 in those days was a good idea or bad idea. i knew a lot of my fellow students were borrowing. but now students are getting in much more deeply. it isn't just $1,000 or $5,000 or even $10,000. at the end of the day it turns out to be much, much more. i've come to the floor a number of times to tell the stories about these for-profit schools to warn students and their families, be careful. some of these schools are good. many of them are awful, just plain awful. the president last night said he wanted to create a college scorecard. i want to hear more, and i hope that there'll be a scorecard and a web site maybe where students -- high school students or others across america can take a look at every college opportunity, not just their pretty catalogs or their great web sites, but how many of these students that grad wait from this college actually get a job? and those who get a job, how
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much do they actually get paid? and of the students who borrow money to go to this college, how much do they borrow? how many of them fail to make payments on their student loans later in life? there's one important thing i left out. here's what you're going to learn about loans to students. they're different than other types of loans. you see, if i decide to buy a home and a car and a boat and then lose my job and go broke and can't pay them back, in the most extreme cases, i can go to court and put all of my debts on the table in front of a judge and say, here is all the money i owe and here's all the money i have. i don't know where to turn and go through something called bankruptcy. in bankruptcy, the judge says, well, let's say you have $10,000 in the bank and you owe $50,000, you're going to lose your $10,000. you can't pay back the $50,000.
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but you no longer have an obstacles to pay it. you're -- an obligation to pay t you're judged bankrupt. you start over, wipe the slate clean. not a lot of people do that. but when things get really bad, they have to. guess what? when it comes to student loans, they are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. the debt that a 19-, 20-, and 21-year-old student signs up for is a debt for lifetim life. so these are serious debt obligations. it is hard to imagine that many young people without a great deal of life experience really know what is too much debt. really know whether that school is any good. let me tell you a story of one student. arramone attended a for-profit college owned by career proceedings.
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ramone was the first person in his family to go to college. the recruiters look for these students. without guidance from his family, he trusted the school when they individuals him about student loans. he says, the school just told him to sign his name. that's all he had to to. they never explained the difference between the kinds of loans that students could take out. there are government loans, federal loans, and then there are loans from private institutions. he was never told what his balance would be -- how much he owed -- or what he could expect his monthly payments to be when it was all oamplet h over. he signed up. he wanted to get started with college. and he kept signing and signing, semester after semester, until he graduated from this for-profit school with $90,000 of debt. he worked almost 80 hours a week so he could pay his monthly
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student loan payments, which were $1,000 a month. he owns a home, but he thinks he will lose it because of his student loans. he decided to try to file for bankruptcy he was in debt so deeply. but he learned the hard way, bankruptcy court can't help when you it comes to student loans. ramone says he wishes he hadn't gone to college at all. he was better off before he got that deeply in ebbet d now he is at a gruent colleges community o get an education because the $90,000 at a for-profit college turned towb turned out to be a . students at a community college are near home, they can commute, they offer a lot of options. they're not expensive, you learn a lot about yourself, your
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education, and your dreams spitting in those classrooms. and after a year or two if it sounds right and feels right, it is time to move on to another university and you'll move on to the third year of college wallet a lot of debt, statistic at community college. ramone ended up at a community college finally tried to get the education that the for-profit college didn't give him. he wishes he started at that community college instead of at the american intercontinental university. then he would have received the same education but without $90,000 of debt. why does he have so much debt in according to a recent committee report here in the senate, the american intercontinental university cost costs 250 timese than the nearby community college. 250 times more? federal student aid couldn't cover the tuition costs, so
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students are forced to turn from federal student aid -- government loans, which are low-interest loans -- to private loans, which are high-interest loans. some students don't note differences between a 3.2% annual rate of interest and an 18% annual rate of interest, and that can be the difference between a government loan and a private loan. to put it in shorthand from someone who has paid off longer the highe-- who has paid off loe higher the interest rate, the more your payment it going to the bank rather than reducing the amount of money you owe. federal student aid couldn't cover the tuition costs. the private loans don't come with any consumer protections. government loans do. government loans allow you to consolidate. sometimes they take into consideration the job you end up with in life. sometimes there's forgiveness of government student loans. it is a much more flexible low-cost program than private
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student loans. sometimes students will need private student loans but for-profit colleges are using these loans for another reason. they encourage students to take out private loans at least in part because private loans allow these schools to continue to get more federal funds. it is a complicated formula, but in order to get the maximum amount of federal dollars, the for-profit schools push kids into private loans, even when they're skill eligible for the -- they're still eligible for the better government loans. the rule i am talking about is the 90-10 rule that requires for-profit colleges to receive at least 10% of revenue from sources other than the federal government. madam president, if you took the federal money we send to for-profit schools in america -- roughly $32 billion a year -- if you took that money an translated it into a federal
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budget, for-profit colleges in america would be the ninth-largest federal agency. $32 million going to this sector of the economy. when they push the kids into the private loans that are not as good, not as generous, much more expensive, that covers the 10% they've got to come up with in real money as opposed to government money. it means that 90% of the revenue of these extremely profitable schools comes right out of the federal treasury. even though for purposes of this rule federal revenue includes only funds from the department of education's program, g.i. bills aren't considered federal funds. if you add in g.i. bill funds, sometimes it's closer to 100%. where's the accountability here? if these schools are dragging kids deeply into debt, if the kids are defaulting at rates twice as fast ander twice as
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serious as those going to public and private schools, where is our responsibility here? how is a student, a high school student in illinois or in north dakota supposed to know whether that web site about that college is true or not? how would they know when that school says we're accredited that the accreditation is phony? moe most of these for-profit schools belong to an organization that accredits all the schools that are for-profit schools. they take care of one another. they ignore the obvious when these schools are failing the students and their families. the federal aid -- but federal aid is keeping the doors open at these for-profit schools. can we afford to get students across america deeply in debt for a largely worthless education? do we have that much money sloshing around here in washington when it comes to helping students get through school? that's why the president's statement last night about
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student debt, about the rising college costs, and a scorecard for colleges and universities is right spot on. it is time that we tell families across america the truth about colleges and universities and it's time for those same colleges and universities to waning to a reality, and reality is, the sky is not the limit when it comes to the cost of higher education. i've talked to mom o a number o, respected institutions that give good degrees, good did i p.l.o. that is, that have -- good diplomas. you can't just keep raising the cost of higher education. middle-income, working families don't have the chance. it's just something that ordinary families can't even consider. congress needs to act now to stop this for-profit school industry from exploiting students and their families and taxpayers.
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why we are spending so much money -- money we can no longer afford -- to subsidize these highly profitable schools is beyond me. i can't explain it. these schools that leave these kids high and dry break my heart. every time i fly out to o'hare airport on the kennedy expressway in chicago, right before i get to cumberland exit and look up at one of these office buildings and up there in big, bold letters is "westwood college." wow, the campus of westwood college. i know a little bit about that college. i have met the students that have gone to that college, and health me tell you, i want to -- and let me teem you, tell you,o put a sign up there that says, "please avoid this ripoff." a young lady watched a lot of shows on tv about forensic
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criminal investigation and she wanted to get into criminal investigation. she signed up at westwood college. it took her five years to finish, and when she finished, she had a debt of $90,000. she is wanted a degree in law enforcement. she wanted to be an c.s.i. in the real world. guess what happened? she went to every law enforcement agency in the chicagoland area and they said -- they pushed it back and said, westwood is not a real college. you've wasted your time -- five years -- and your money. here she sits now living in her parents' basement. at a time in life when she thought she would be starting her own career shall her own life. what is she doing? she is paying back a loan for a worthless education at westwood college. i have been after these folks aphor a long time. they -- i have been after these folks for a long tievmen time. sadly, we subsidize them. we send them millions of dollars in federal funds to continue this exploitation of students.
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this has got to come to an end. this is not the kind of thing we need to encourage. if america is going to have well-educated and trained students so that they have good lives and america continues to prosper. one of my colleagues here, senator tom harkin of iowa, has been a leader on this. chairman of the help committee, he's had hearings on for-profit schools, and i commend them to anyone interested in the subject. take a look at tom harkin's hearings. i could go on for a long time -- and tom could, too -- about the schools across america that are exploiting students. we owe it to the students to tell them the truth. we owe it to their parents and we beg teachers and high school counselors and others who really care about young people, look long and hard at these for-profit schools before you recommend them-to-a student. i encourage all my colleagues to take a look at legislation that tom harkin and i have introduced. we're trying to drop the federal subsidy to these for-profit schools just a bit. it is going to be hard to do.
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they are pretty powerful here in washington. but if we're doing our job to protect families and students across america for following the president's lead from the state of the union address to make sure that we're sensitive to student loans, student indebted in that we hold colleges and other training institutions accountable for what they are doing to and for students, it's time for us to turn the page and join the president. the president's speech last night is a challenge t to all of us on both sides of the 50eu8, bot-- bothsides of the aisle, bs of the rotunda, to take the student debt crisis seriously. madam president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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